Fine, so I’m not as far along as I thought I’d be.

It’s been just over two months since my plotting workshop and the big, hearty boost it gave me. Despite being all gung-ho and “I can take on the world” after it concluded, naturally, that wore off after a bit. No longer spending every minute of every day thinking about my novel, surrounded by interested and helpful writers might have something to do with that. Just as,  I’m sure, going back to work and taking care of a home and having to cook and do laundry and walk the dogs and tie my shoes all played their part.

But I’m really trying not to point to excuses or get down on myself for the modest gains I’ve made. The success lies in that I’ve kept at it, writing at least some notes 2-3 times each week, and writing 5-10 pages every couple of Fridays. Yes, the time I spend at my keyboard is productive all right, I just don’t spend it there often enough.

Nonetheless, I’m making progress. More importantly, I’m making process. After toying with an outline for several weeks after the workshop, I was getting frustrated at not getting any words on the page and still not having every little detail figured out. Finally, I said “to hell with it” and I started actually writing the first third of the story, since that part had the clearest milestones already in place.

It was the right choice. The day I stopped outlining and actually started writing, I pounded out over 10 pages. Pretty good ones too, for a 1st draft.

So, lesson learned. Work the outline as best you can. When it starts to piss you off, start writing. Lets you feel productive again and keeps the muscle flexing. Gives your characters being. Flushes out more of the story. Makes the milestones feel closer together and more congruent. Gives you a sense of urgency.

It’s Friday. Back to the story.

I’m going to do this.

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